So, today I was walking to the city library and I saw something so unfortunate... There was an old man, sat on the bench near college, wrapped up in a blanket, he looked like he hadn't washed or shaved for days (which obviously was NOT his fault), he had a black bin bag next to him and oh my goodness it's just awful and quite obvious he was homeless.
Previously, when I've seen him I've just walked past because even though I want to give him something, I have nothing to give him- so I couldn't. But today, I'd just finished lunch but I left over my snickers bar. I was saving it for later, but he clearly needed it more than I do so I gave him my snickers bar and he thanked me and told me to have a nice weekend and I told him the same.
As I was walking down, guess what? I saw another homeless man. In a similar position to him. Wrapped in a blanket, layers on top of layers, he looked unwashed and like he hadn't shaved for days (which obviously was NOT his fault), and he was coughing and spluttering- he was clearly ill. But I had nothing more to give him.
When I see a homeless person, I am hesitant to give them money. Not all homeless people but a number of them, are probably addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is not their fault, terrible things happen in life, think 'what must have happened in one's life for them to stoop as low as drugs?' Most of the time it's not their addiction isn't their fault. But I am hesitant to give them money, in case they spend it on drugs to fuel their addiction. The last thing I want is a homeless person, dying of a drug overdose all because I gave them some money whilst they were on the streets.
So I give them food when I see them. And I see lots, and I can't give them all food, unfortunately.
But what I don't understand is why is this happening in 21st century Britain? We're a first world country, our elderly should not be on the streets, homeless, hungry, unhealthy and one of the worst case scanerios I can think of- addicted to drugs.
To be honest, I've only really been venturing out of my area alone, regularly, for a month- ever since college started. And I have seen so many homeless people on our streets, near college, within our city center and I can't understand it.
MPs can spend millions of taxpayers money on luxury items for themselves, and give themselves payrises, members of the Royal Family can use taxpayers money decorate their palace(s)- but we can't donate a few million to stop homelessness from happening.
I feel like society lacks so much understanding towards these people. We need to understand that anything can happen in one's life for them to become homeless, they could lose their job, the landlord might put the rent up, for some reason they might get evicted, family disputes can happen in which people are kicked out- and things I can't even think of because I'm only young and I don't understand everything.
But one thing I can understand, is that people don't deserve to be homeless. That elderly man I met, just looked so grateful for a small snickers bar- something which I have the privilege of just going to the tin and getting. Homelessness should not be happening in 21st century 1st world Britain- how dare we let this happen to people, especially our elderly.
I'm actually at the library right now as I am writing this- because it's much quieter than the college library, and my lunchbreak will be over soon, so I have to walk back up to college soon, and I know on my walk up I'll probably see even more homeless people- sights which break my heart.
So I have to close this MyTake off here, thank you for reading- and if you have any suggestions on how we can help the homeless, feel free to comment below on how because even the tiniest suggestion could lead to a huge help. :)
Thank you for reading :) <3
PS: This take is talking about the 'North of England' but I know homelessness happens in the South. I wrote a little about the North, because it's where I'm from. I'm not sure which has a higher rate of homelessness- I assume it is the North but not 100% sure, so don't take my word for it. Even if less of it happens in the South, it's still an important issue because people are on the streets. Homelessness is an immense problem in the UK (and that includes, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland too), so we all need to be aware of the huge problem our nation faces.